------ Forwarded message -----
From: Francis Harper
Francis Harper Message for 11/2/2018
Our actions spring from our desires; good actions come from righteous desires and bad actions from evil desires. Our desires ultimately determine our character. Let this desire be in me, to do good and not evil all the days of my life “He hath shown thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God” (Micah 6:8).
Bakht Singh, India’s foremost evangelist and indigenous church planter of the 20th century, wrote: “I found these words again and again in the Bible: ‘God said,’ ‘God said,’ I found these words repeated 500 times and this very fragment was a blessing to me. ‘God speaks,’ ‘God speaks.’ So I said God speak to me. I want to hear thy voice. I have no other ambition for any other experience. The longing of my soul is that you should speak to me and show me thy way day by day.” I believed like a child. When he becomes real he does speak. A day came when I began to hear his voice everyday” (Brother Bakht Singh of India. T E Koshy. P 86). Hearing God’s voice should be one of our most sincere desires.
The twelve disciples chosen by Jesus in Meso-America knelt and prayed “for that which they most desired that the Holy Ghost should be given unto them . . . and they were filled with the Holy Ghost . . .(3 Nephi 9:10-14). This too should be one of our great desires.
Alma wrote of his desire to bring souls to the Lord: “yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God, to bring some soul to repentance and this is my joy” (Alma 15:61). This was also Ted’s desire.
Ted was out of work, but he found a newspaper advertisement that appealed to him. There was a good salary with all expenses paid for someone who desired to travel. He picked up the newspaper and went to the hotel. Then he took the elevator up to the third floor and knocked on the door of room 308, following exactly the instructions given in the paper. A refined gentleman invited Ted in and offered him a seat. The gentleman handed him a pen and a sheet of paper. “I want you to write the things you want most in life. “I will give you two minutes.” “How strange,” Ted thought, “that he wants this kind of information for a position.” But Ted complied with the request. He headed his list with a pink Cadillac, a lovely home, a bank account, an extra car for his wife, and so on. The gentleman timed him. When the two minutes were up, he stepped over, took the piece of paper, and said, “That is all.” Ted arose with the newspaper in his hand. He walked toward the door and dropped the newspaper into an empty wastebasket. Ted took the chewing gum from his mouth, put it in a piece of paper, and dropped it in the wastebasket also.
Then Ted went out into the hall and entered the elevator. On the way to the main floor he
meditated over the unusual request that he had just encountered and the things he had written. Ted decided that they were not really the things he wanted most in life. His greatest desire was to serve God as a priest in the Church of Jesus Christ. Ted decided to go back upstairs and tell the man. He could hardly wait to get back on the third floor. He hurried to room 308 and knocked on the door, but there was no answer. Ted saw a maid going into a room nearby, and he asked who occupied room 308. “No one, sir,” she replied. “That room has not been occupied for two days.” Ted was puzzled. Not satisfied with the information he had gained from her, he hastened to check with the manager. There he received the same report. Dumbfounded, Ted returned to the third floor. He found the maid and asked her to open the door of room 308. In the wastebasket lay the newspaper and the chewing gum, but the room was empty. Ted was never able to correct the situation. He learned too late that he needed to devote his time and energy toward his greatest desire.
My Love to All,
My greatest desire is to please my Father in heaven. I once compiled a list of thirty-one ways to please the heavenly Father. Jesus said, “I do always those things that please him.” (John 8:29). I want to do the same.
Upon several occasions, God the Father, introduced his Son saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” “Hear ye him” (Matthew 3:46 IV; 3:17 KJV), (Matthew 17:4 IV; 17:5 KJV). “A great multitude of people were gathered together, round about the temple which was in the land Bountiful [in Meso-(central) America]” (3 Nephi 5:1). As they were conversing . . ., “they heard a voice, as if it came out of heaven . . . And it said unto them, Behold, my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased . . . hear ye him” (3 Nephi 5:8). I hope the Father will also be pleased with us.
We know we will please our Heavenly Father if we are like Jesus. Therefore, becoming like Jesus should be our greatest desire. The Apostle John wrote: “. . . we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him. . .” (1 John 3:2).
Jesus spoke to the three Nephites who desired to remain in the flesh: “ye shall never taste of death . . . for ye have desired that ye might bring the souls of men unto me while the world shall stand; and for this cause ye shall have fullness of joy . . . yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fullness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are one . . . (3 Nephi 13:18-22). Jesus prayed: That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (John 17:21).
Paul wrote: “By faith Enoch was translated [caught up to heaven] that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him; for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:5-6).
Since God gave Enoch a testimony that he pleased him, we should seek a similar testimony. The translation of Enoch and his city as it is recorded in Genesis 7:27 IV; 5:24 KJV, is a type and shadow of that which has been prophesied to happen when the Lord returns. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; Then they that are alive, shall be caught up together into the clouds . . . to meet the Lord in the air . . .” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
Those who are caught up to meet the Lord and the ten thousands of saints (Jude 1:14; Revelation 1:7) will, like Enoch, quite likely have a testimony that they please God. We should desire such a testimony but before we can expect this blessing we must seek to please him in our every thought, word and deed.
Paul had received a testimony that he pleased God when he wrote to Timothy: “I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:6-8).
Apparently, Joseph Smith, Jr., also had a testimony that he pleased God, proof of this is in his final words; “I am going like a lamb to the slaughter; but I am calm as the summer’s morning; I have a conscience void of offense, toward God, and toward all men . . .” (Doctrine and Covenants 113:4-b).
Stephen, the first Christian martyr, knew he pleased God when as he faced death by stoning; “. . . he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55).